Daily news summary
President completes state visit to Russia
Czech President Miloš Zeman, has completed an official state visit to Russia, during which he met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and also Mikhail Gorbachev.
A delegation representing some 130 Czech firms accompanied the head of the state on his visit since the beginning of the week.
Earlier, President Zeman launched a business forum in Yekaterinburg, in the aim of boosting potential cooperation between Czech and Russian firms.
Lawmakers elect four of five deputy speakers
Lawmakers elected four of five deputy speakers in the new Chamber of Deputies on Friday, giving their votes to Vojtěch Pikala of the Pirate Party, Tomio Okamura, the head of the Freedom and Direct Democracy, Vojtěch Filip of the Communist Party, and Jan Hamáček of the Social Democrats. Petr Fiala, the head of the chamber’s second-largest party, the Civic Democrats, failed to get support in two rounds.
All of the voting was by secret ballot.
New candidates can be put forward next week; the post of fifth deputy speaker will remain unfilled for the time being.
Interior Ministry confirms nine candidates will run for president
The Interior Ministry has officially confirmed there will be nine candidates in the presidential election in January, and rejected and additional 11 would-be entries who failed to gather the requisite signatures. Successful applicants were required to collect either 50,000 signatures from the public, 20 from MPs in the lower house or 10 from senators.
Miloš Zeman is the incumbent seeking a second and final five-year term; polls put the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Jiří Drahoš, and lyricist and former betting agency owner Michal Horáček, as his most serious rivals in the race so far. Also running for president is former prime minister Mirek Topolánek, the former Czech ambassador to Paris Pavel Fischer, doctor and activist Marek Hilšer, the former head of Škoda Auto Vratislav Kulhánek, the head of the Defense and Security Association Jiří Hynek, and musician and politician Petr Hannig.
Czech pension payments drop to 8.3 percent of GDP
The proportion of Czech national wealth flowing into the payment of pensions has dropped in the past years to 8.3 percent from 9.7 percent. The figures were released by the Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs.
According to the outgoing head of the Pensions Commission, Martin Potůčka, politicians should respond with a statement about what percent of national wealth should be set aside for pensions payment.
Lobbyist files request for remainder of sentence to be lifted
Lobbyist Roman Janoušek has filed a request with Prague’s Municipal Court for the remainder of his prison sentence to be waived for health reasons. His health has failed to improve and his sentence was aready put on hold once.
Mr Janoušek was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for a hit-and-run while driving under the influence. He served part of his sentence from November 2014 to March 2016.
Viktoria Plzeň book place in next stage of Europa League
In football, Viktoria Plzeň booked a place in the next stage of the Europa League after beating Romanian club FCSB at home 2:0 on Thursday night.
The win secured the Czech club second place in the group. Slavia Prague also increased its chances of further European football with an away 2:0 win against Israeli club Maccabi.
Zlín already with a slim chance of progression out of the group stage, lost 1:0 to Tiraspol and cannot go through to the play-offs.
Saturday is expected to be mostly cloudy. Daytime temperatures should reach highs of around 9 degrees Celsius.